OPERA America Unveils 15 Participants For 2020 Leadership Intensive Program

By David Salazar

OPERA America has selected 15 participants for its 2020 Leadership Intensive Program. These leaders, which hail from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Latin America, were selected from a pool of 44 candidates.

The participants selected by OPERA America include are Derrell Acon, director of engagement and equity, Long Beach Opera; Joe Barnes, company manager, the Metropolitan Opera; Robert Boldin, artistic administrator, Pittsburgh Opera; Piper Gunnarson, executive director, On Site Opera; Julia Noulin-Mérat, associate producer, Boston Lyric Opera, and co-artistic director, Guerilla Opera; Andrea Puente-Catán, major gifts officer, Hispanic affairs, San Diego Opera; Chris Thoren, Fogel general manager, strategy and communications, Chicago Opera Theater; Eleanor Parker Walter, director of marketing and community engagement, Opera Birmingham; Noah Stern Weber, independent consultant; and Arthur White, director of external affairs, Michigan Opera Theatre.

Moreover, Opera.ca, Opera Europa, and Opera Latinoaméricana selected are Aisling Fitzgerald, opera producer and production stage manager, Wexford Festival Opera/Cork Opera House; Yvette Guigueno, director of development, Pacific Opera Victoria; Pierina Lavanca, coordinator of institutional projects, Auditorio Nacional del Sodre; Margarita María Mora Medina, director of marketing, advertising and  communications, Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo; and Lauri Pokkinen, audience outreach and social responsibility manager, Finnish National Opera and Ballet.

“The Leadership Intensive has proven to be a catalyst for the development of a new generation of opera leaders who would not otherwise have access to such specialized learning opportunities or to an international network of peers,” stated Marc. A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America in a press release. “Alumni from the program now hold 10 percent of executive leadership positions at member companies across the United States.”

The program is set to kick off on Jan. 31, 2020 and will run through Feb. 7, providing an opportunity for leaders to address strategic issues, build unique skills, and develop new professional relationships.